Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Kitchen: the issues and the plan

So, you know now that we are doing our big kitchen project, and I am happy to say that things are already on their way. But, I first wanted to share with you why we are making some changes in the kitchen.

Here is how the kitchen looks now.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the way our kitchen is now when you first glance at it. It looks great, and we feel lucky to live in a small twin home and have a large eat-in kitchen. But, the reality is, this kitchen is not very functional. We have lived here for almost 3 years and very slowly I have become annoyed with how difficult it is to function in this kitchen. I remember when Rob mentioned this past summer making some changes in the kitchen and I thought he was crazy. But, then the more I thought about it and paid attention to my frustrations, I realized he was right.

Issue #1: Lack of usable counter space.

Our kitchen has 2 main work areas- where the sink is, and where the stove is. The counterspace next to the sink is usually taken up by our drainboard, which, even in my best efforts not to have it out all the time, pretty much has a permanent home there next to the sink. Even with a dishwasher, we need to use a drainboard. So- no counterspace is really left except maybe to pour a glass of water. The area by the stove is ok, although with the toaster and other various things taking up room, there is not much space left to work with. Plus, the area by the phone is always junked up with stuff- keys, mail, etc. I hate this, but I am not sure there is anything I can do about it. So, then there is this large piece of counterspace in the far corner of the kitchen (see above picture) that would be great to be able to use but because of its location, it can't be. We had the kitchen cart from our apartment when we were first married, and this is probably what we end up using more than any other counterspace. Which is honestly ridiculous.

Issue #2: The things that are stored in the large cabinet space in the corner are not easily accessible.

Therefore, I end up getting VERY frustrated every time I try and take a cookie sheet out of the cabinet. This results in less baking of cookies, which makes Rob very upset. I end up having to move chairs around, and sometimes even pushing the table out of the way to get things out of this cabinet.

Issue #3: It is all very awkward with the table, corner cabinet, and kitchen cart.

We love this table. In fact, we just posted it on Craigslist and are a little sad about it because it is such a great table, but the truth is, it just doesn't work in here. More counterspace is more inportant than a sit down table. Plus we have our dining table just a few feet away in the dining room. If 4 people eat at the kitchen table, we have to pull it out from the window so that person can actually sit down.

So, with all that said, the plan is to remove the above three things- getting rid of the table completely, making a large kitchen island in the center of the kitchen, and also getting rid of the kitchen cart. We are planning to put a shelf under the pot rack so that I still have some space to put things that are now on top of the corner cabinet and kitchen cart.

Sorry this post is somewhat long and boring. We are going to Ikea this afternoon to pick up a few things, so I will have an update for you later as we have begun tackling this project this past weekend. Stay tuned!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Etsy Friday -cover my wall

I thought on today's "Etsy Friday" I would take a look at some wall art. It can be expensive to cover your walls. Rob and I always talk about how much we want more art for our home. But, it is difficult when art (especially original art) can be so expensive. But Etsy is a great way to get something that is more original without breaking the bank. Any kind of original art is probably going to be a little more on the pricier side, no matter who the artist is.

I tend to like paintings that are a little abstract, but not to the extreme where it looks like my 2 year old son can do it. I really like this one a lot.

There is some seriosuly fabulous photography prints for sale on Etsy. I tend to like ones that are in nature- birds, flowers, trees, skies. These are so affordable and you can usually pick which size you want, which is great. I thought this one was especially pretty.

One of my favorite things to look at on Etsy are the great graphic art prints. There are SO many, they are SO affordable and I love the modern feel they give. This one is from one of my favorite shops.

And lastly, I really like sketches, and I hope no one is offended by this, but I really like nude sketches- not so much full frontal nudity, but something tasteful, like this one below. I hope you don't think I am weird, but I really would like to have some nude art in our home. Maybe hanging in the bedroom as opposed to the living room, but seriously, the human body is a beautiful thing!

Well, thats all for today. Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! We are planning on starting on the kitchen project. More on that later :-)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pretty Things

Recently I came across a blog that I have become somewhat obsessed with. I try not to spend too much time looking at a lot of blogs because before I know it, 2 hrs have gone by and the laundry is still dirty, the sink is still full of dishes and I forgot the dog was outside and he almost froze to death. So, I really try and limit my time on the computer- this is another reason I refuse to join facebook.

Anyway, I have been looking at Decor8 for awhile, which is a very popular blog, but I recently realized that Holly, the writer of Decor8 has another blog, called Haus Maus, where she writes aboout living in Germany with her husband. They had a vacation place there for a couple years before recently relocating there full time. They are currently looking for a new "flat", but their current place just makes me swoon. I could look at these pictures forever- they just make me so happy. First of all, she takes great pics, and secondly, I love her decorating style. I love all the white, with the soft pastels. I am not sure I could ever decorate quite like this with a toddler around, but it is all just so pretty. It makes me realize that I really like pretty things for your home- vases, candles, fresh flowers.

The reason why I think I enjoy reading this blog a little more than Decor8 is because it is personal, it's about her and her experiences there- being an American girl in Germany. It all sounds very romantic and exciting.

Anyway, check it out if you'd like. I'm off to buy some flowers from Produce Junction!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Etsy Fridays (making it personal)

Ok, so, I know I keep saying this, but I really do want to post more. And I really intended to do a post earlier this week, but we have been fighting colds around here for the past few days. I am feeling much better today, but Aiden is still pretty sick and now Rob is starting with it.

So, I am going to make this "Etsy Friday" post a little more personal.

Remember how I mentioned that we were planning a bigger project? Well, we are going to be making some exciting changes in the kitchen. This will probably be the biggest project we will have taken on in the house. Rob has done a lot out in the backyard (garden, deck, awesome gate/door) since moving in. But, we haven't done a whole lot inside the house besides painting/decorating, mostly because there really hasn't been anything that "needs" to be done. I am not really going to call this a renovation, because that seems a little extreme. But, the kitchen will be different when we're done (at least that's what I'm hoping!!). The main thing we are doing is making a kitchen island. There will be more changes, but I won't get into all that quite yet. Later I will post pictures of how the kitchen is now and a little more explanation of why we are changing it. We haven't started actually doing anything yet, and really have no timeline for it, so don't hold your breath for the finished product. In the meantime, here is a little taste of some things I already picked out, including bar stools, a ceiling light, and shelving from Ikea. As well as some fabric that I plan to use to make cafe-style curtains, the "Keep Calm and Carry On" sign that I have always wanted to incorporate somewhere into our home, and some Anthroplogie knobs, which I am not 100% sure of yet because of the price, but I love them.

The fabric and sign above I found on Etsy. These signs seem to be everywhere, but I think that Etsy seems to have the most color options. When it comes to finding fabric, I always turn to Etsy first. There are SO many options at such great deals. Most of my projects are pretty small, so if something doesn't seem to be the exact color I thought when I receive it, I can usually use it for something else. I have also found that a lot of times you can find remnants or "fat quarters" for sale on Etsy for a couple of dollars to make sure it is exactly what I want before ordering more yardage.

And lastly, this has nothing to do with the kitchen, but I just ordered this print for Aiden for his birthday that's coming up. He got so much for Christmas, its overwhelming, so we wanted to pick out something that he would love, but wouldn't add to all the "stuff" he already has. Aiden is obsessed with letters. I know, it's strange for an almost 2 year old to know all his letters, the sounds they make, and how to make everything he does involve letters, but he does. We didn't even really teach him intentionally. Anyway, we will frame this and hang it somewhere in his room where he can look at it and enjoy it. I am excited about it. Again, there is a lot of this kind of stuff on Etsy, but I liked this one the best and for the price.

Hope you have a happy weekend!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Etsy Fridays

I am trying to be better about doing more posts. One of the reasons I don't post as much as I'd like is because I don't always have things to post about. I don't want this to become a blog where I just post pictures that I find other places. I will probably do that some times, I just don't want to make it a habit.

So, I had an idea that every Friday, ( don't hate me if I sometimes miss one or two) I will post some things I am lusting after on Etsy. For those of you who are not familiar with Etsy, you can watch an informative video here. But, basically it is people selling handmade, and vintage things. You can also buy supplies (like fabric). I haven't bought much from Etsy, but when I have, I have been pleased. It also feels good to support homemade. Sometimes the amount of choices on Etsy is overwhelming, but if you take the time to sort through it all, you can find some great treasures that you would never be able to buy anywhere else.

I'll probably stick to mostly home/decorative goods, but may occasionally post a great handbag or scarf that is just so pretty it should be mentioned.

So, here it goes.....

These would look darling in a nursery

These would look good in my living room

I'm not usually a fan of wall decals, but I like the modern look of these. I think they would look best in a modern home that is in the mountains somewhere.

These look like they are in perfect condition and I could use a new wooden salad bowl since my one from Pottery Barn is peeling.

So, there you have it. You will have to let me know if you think this is a good idea, or if you are bored with it. I won't be offended.

Hope you have a happy weekend :-)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Back to normal

I think its fair to say that things are pretty much back to normal around here after the holidays- I took Aiden to story hour at the library, and a trip to Target today.

I made an Ikea trip last week and got a few things that I have been talking about getting for a long time.

Finally got this small chest of drawers for miscellaneous things that you would probably find in a bathroom or hall closet- both of which we don't have on the second floor. My original thought was to put the dresser in our walk-though closet, which is between the bathroom and our bedroom. However, it seemed too crowded because we recently moved Bailey's bed to the spot where I had originally thought of putting the dresser.

So, I put the dresser in the hallway, at the bottom of the 3rd floor stairs. With it only being 12 inches deep, it fits well and doesn't feel like it is taking up too much space.

The other thing I bought were new ceiling lamps for the hallways. The fixtures we had were fine, but not something we would have picked out. Here is the old.

I have been wanting this one from Ikea for awhile now and finally got around to getting them. Although, only the 2nd floor one is installed. We haven't gotten around to doing the 3rd floor one yet. But it is exactly the same so I wouldn't bore you with 2 sets of the same pictures anyway.

When Rob and I were at Ikea this past weekend, researching a bigger project that I will be sharing about once we start working on it, we were talking about how great Ikea is and wondering how people who don't have the luxury of living close to one survives. Of course, this is somewhat ridiculous, but I don't know where I would shop when I need affordable options if I couldn't go to Ikea.

So, that's what normal life is around here, and I'm glad to be back.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Recovering from the Holidays and the Kitchen Sink

I am still recovering from the holidays around here.  Things have been busy- wonderful, but busy.  We were away for a few days at the beginning of the week and then New Years came so quick.  I am thankful that we live so close to family and are able to do so much, but I am looking forward to some serious R&R in January. 

The Christmas decorations are starting to come down.  After New Years, they start to make me feel claustrophobic.  I think its because we have so much more stuff after receiving all our gifts, especially now with Aiden. 

Anyway, I've been especially appreciative of our kitchen sink this holiday season.  That may sound ridiculous.  But I LOVE our sink.  I have never used another sink that is better than our sink.  I can't take credit for it because when we bought the house, it was installed new by the previous owner.  But I never want another sink except this one.  It is SO deep and the size is perfect.  The arched faucet is perfect.  I have been able to wash large pots and pans, serving dishes, baby, and dog in this sink with no problem. 

 I have some smaller projects and maybe one larger one that I will be working on/planning in the next few weeks, so keep posted!